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Today, bravery looks like making a stretch.

When was the last time you tried something new?  I mean really new. The kind of new that felt so foreign that you might as well have been jumping out of a plane. If you can’t remember it, you’re long past due.

What are you waiting for?

Most of us are victims of the mundane. Life is busy, but an often unchallenging routine holds little in the way of surprise or growth. This comfortable life is easy and familiar, but in many ways also restricts us.  Comfort, in its way, is a trap. The result: we don’t know what we’re truly capable of.

Stretching beyond the norm makes us ache, pushes us, makes us think, causes us to stumble.  We are tested and reminded that we are MORE, can be MORE. If this is true, why don’t we stretch more often?

  • We’re afraid to try something new for fear of “Failure.”
  • We don’t realize we’ve gotten into a rut.
  • We don’t want to look stupid/like a beginner.
  • We are rewarded for who we are, and thus don’t feel a need to stretch.

We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.

Maya Angelou

To break with comfort requires bravery.  To risk looking foolish? Bravery.  To redefine our lives through challenge? Bravery, most definitely.

I mentioned parachuting out of a plane, but any stretch is still a stretch.  For example, until recently, I hadn’t driven in New York City. Years of harrowing cab rides had me fearing for my life in my own car. This summer, tired of being afraid, I planned my trip in.

I was beyond nervous as I approached the Lincoln Tunnel. Ok, I was freaking out. And praying. But when I noticed the other drivers making their way into the tunnel I realized something really important:

One person’s first time is another person’s normal.

There really is a first time for everything, and this was mine. Yes, it was an awkward moment, as most firsts are.  Once in the tunnel, I was fine, and as I drove out and into the city, I was feeling pretty damn accomplished.  A new, brave “Me.”

So what is the one thing you’d like to try but never have?  What is your “Lincoln Tunnel?”

The not so dreaded Lincoln Tunnel

The not so dreaded Lincoln Tunnel

Here are some tips to remove whatever barriers stand between you and your new experience:

  • Identify something doable.  You are more likely to tackle it.
  • Ask a friend to help.  Having support will ease your way.
  • Remember that “Just doing it” is an accomplishment. Anything else that happens is a bonus.
  • Channel the courage of your inner child.  We weren’t nearly as fearful when we were kids.

And when you are done? CELEBRATE! Trust me when I say that joy outweighs fear when you take on something new. The pride, the redefinition of who you are and realization of what you are capable of is enormous.

Let me hear what you are up to, and how it is changing you.  You are not alone in your fears, and you will find support here in our Brave Community.

Be brave. Give it a shot.  Make the stretch.